For seniors Antonio Andonov,
Che Jordan, Joe Miller and Brian Williams, last Thursday night turned
out to be the final time they would grace the hardwood in the not-so-historic
halls of the UIS Assembly Closet.
Sure, it was the end of the chapter, but it also gave us a good chance
to look back on four fine careers spanning from the very beginning of
men’s basketball at UIS to only a single semester.
Men's basketball seniors (front to back, left to right): Joe Miller,
Che Jordan, Brian Williams and Antonio Andonov
East St. Louis native Che Jordan
came to the Stars after playing one season at Idaho State and two years
at Lakeland Community College. Even though Che only played a little over
one semester at UIS, his impact was felt instantaneously. Jordan shot
a cool 40.1 percent from the field in his 27 games played at UIS all the
while nabbing a team high 100 defensive rebounds.
“Che has been a terrific athlete for us, especially in the last
10-15 games,” said head coach Kevin Gamble, “he truly helped
out the best he could.”
Brian Williams came to UIS two years ago from Heartland Community College.
In his two years as a Prairie Star, Williams averaged over 45.5 percent
from the field and wowed the nearly 300 in attendance at the Senior Night
game when he slammed the alley-oop from Antonio Puckett in the early seconds.
“Williams was a good guy, always practiced hard and played hard,”
said Gamble, “he’s the type of guy you would want, he didn’t
complain but just went about his business.”
Joe Miller transferred to UIS after playing a pair of seasons at Lewis
and Clark Community College. In his two years at UIS, Miller established
himself as one of the cornerstones of the UIS bench, averaging 54.3 percent
from the field, 39.6 from behind the arc and an amazing team high 79.5
percent from the charity stripe. Miller averaged 6.6 points this year
and was recognized for his abilities when he was named to the Drury Classic
All Tournament Team in 2004.
“Joe’s a hardnosed kid,” said Gamble “it’d
be a coach’s dream to have 12 kids just like him.”
Finally, Antonio Andonov came to UIS after a stint at the University of
Southern Indiana to join the first-ever squad of men to hit the hardwood
for UIS. Red-shirting last year due to an injury, Andonov came back in
full force this year. In his two years of playing, Andonov averaged 45
percent from the field and recorded 20 steals and 22 blocks. Recording
a double-double earlier this year by scoring and rebounding an even 10,
Andonov is sure to be one to remember.
“Being 6’8” you would think he was a power guy, but
that’s not Antonio, he’s all finesse,” said Gamble,
“and he was pretty good at it even when he was outweighed by most
of the guys he was playing in the conference.”
During pre-game festivities honoring the seniors, Prairie Stars Athletics
and all those in attendance also honored graduating cheerleaders Stephanie
Jeczalik, who has cheered for over 11 years, and Jenny Gallagher, who
cheered for eight years.
gets their Eagle on, tops Stars 71-64
Jason Stuebe - Sports Editor
For the players and fans, last
Thursday night was the end of the home basketball season. It was a time
to celebrate the accomplishments of seniors soon to pass and get one last
look at who to watch for next season. It wasn’t, however, a very
pretty game to watch, as the Stars dropped to the Eagles of Williams Baptist
Looking forward to improve their AMC record and possibly end up at .500
by season’s end, the Stars stood poised and ready to beat a team
they had come oh-so-close to earlier in the season. Even after a breathtaking
start that featured an Antonio Puckett alley-oop to senior Brian Williams,
the Stars couldn’t get rolling and quickly fell behind.
by as much as 10 in the first half, it looked as though the Stars were
well on their way to another game of asking “what if?” That
wasn’t the case, however, as the Stars rallied, pulling to within
one after an Antonio Andanov jumper notched the score at 26-25 with a
little over 3:00 to play in the first half.
After taking a 27-32 lead into the locker room, the Eagles came out aggressive,
possibly too aggressive in the second half, which wound up leaving their
biggest scorer, Jeremy Bell on the bench in foul trouble.
Though giving up three straight 3s to WBU, the ever-resilient Stars came
back to eventually tie the game at 51 apiece with 9:25 on the clock after
a tough Colin Crull play in the paint. By 6:30, Crull had fought through
another pair of points to put the Stars on top for the first time since
the infant minutes of the ball game, 55-54.
All things considered, it appeared as though things would start going
the Stars’ way and a win might be pulled out. That’s when
the wheels fell off the apple cart.
A drained three by the Eagles’ Brandon Watson to open up the final
two minutes of play set the tone. UIS immediately took a time-out to draw
up the plan of attack. The plan never formulated, as a turnover by freshman
Aaron Leonard handed the ball to the Eagles and led to desperation fouls
which drove up the score even more.
“We started playing better, then we started making defensive mistakes,”
said head coach Kevin Gamble, “They made us pay for that.”
“When we do what we are supposed to do, we have a better team.”
The Stars were led by Crull, who wound up with 14 points after a slow
start in the first half. Puckett collected 12 of his own and Che Jordan,
who closed out his career at home, contributed 10 points and five boards.
Collectively, the Stars shot 37.3 percent from the field, a dismal 12.5
percent from behind the arc compared to WBU’s 50 percent, and 55.6
percent from the stripe.
The loss dropped the Stars to 8-20 overall and 4-7 in the AMC. The loss
also means that the Stars more than likely will not be playing at home
for the opening round of the AMC Tournament. Ironically enough, it looks
as though the Stars will now play at Williams Baptist tomorrow night in
In the end, that’s alright with Gamble, who hopes the team can learn
from their mistakes. “Hopefully we will learn – it sure would
be a shame if we go down there in the tournament and make the same mistakes
The great unknown
Jason Stuebe - Sports Editor
First off, let me welcome you
to our new home. If you went to the back page instinctively, I apologize.
After a hostile takeover, the back page has been relinquished –
we gave ‘em hell but lost the war; my and Mark’s editors just
Now, down to business.
Maybe you have heard about them. They wear a lot of orange with some trimmings
in blue. They have names like Dee, Deron, Luther, James, Roger, Jack,
Rich, Nick and Warren. Maybe you’ve heard of their outstanding 28-0
Then again, if all you watch is ESPN, you probably haven’t.
For well over three months, this entire region has been sent into a frenzy,
but you wouldn’t be able to tell if you were out of sight of the
spaceship on the prairie in the southern trappings of Urbana, Illinois.
No, you wouldn’t know that in this, their centennial season, they
are off to their best start, holding down the best record in the entire
NCAA and nearing the best start in Big Ten history. Yeah, we’re
saying best start and here we are, two games away from closing out the
regular season. This stuff’s just getting warmed up.
You wouldn’t know that they recently clinched a share of the Big
Ten title. You wouldn’t know that each member of the team has their
own story to tell – their own human interest piece that could fill
Nope. You wouldn’t. Thanks to the Dickie Vs, the Digger Phelpses,
the episodes of PTI, the Andy Katzes of the world, this little orange
gem amidst the cornfields is little known. And you know something; this
far along I don’t think I would want it any other way.
Let them ignore us. Let them belittle us. Let them tout their Carolina
Blue, their Dukies, and their Jay Hawks.
And let them all be green with envy, red of embarrassment, and orange
with surprise when the Illini prove them wrong this March/April.
Yeah, I said April because that’s where this team is headed, barring
the four horsemen, a plague of locusts or a bad case of bubonic plague.
How is it that the number one team in the nation could get so little airtime?
So little recognition for such great accomplishments, it all seems so
unfair right? Well, damn it, it is.
While we are forced to watch Kansas lose three straight to the likes of
Virginia Tech or Duke scrape by a dying Georgia Tech, all on national
television mind you, we are also forced to watch those orange-clad whiz
bangs on ESPN regional (Thanks WCIA).
As the beloved Rodney Dangerfield would say, “No respect!”
Kansas drops two straight games and goes to No. 7. They lose another one
and I bet they fall to only No. 8. If Illinois lost only one fluke game,
I guarantee you we’d be ranked No. 12 by the next Monday.
Hell, I doubt we even get one of the mini-balls from Sports Illustrated
if, Lord willing, we win this thing.
But in the end it’s OK. If there’s one thing that I have learned
from this team, it’s that we don’t need the notoriety, we
don’t need Dickie V or Jay Bilas to cover all our games. Why? Because
as the team notoriously proclaims in practice “we do this”...with
or without them. As always, go Stars…and go Illini!
Ice Skating is happening this
Friday night from 7-9pm at the Nelson Recreation Center in Lincoln Park.
If you are a UIS student or Rec Center Member with a valid i-card and
you sign-up in the Campus Recreational Sports Office before 1pm this Friday,
March 4, you can skate for free! After that time it will cost you $3.
Non-Rec Center Members and Non-UIS must pay $5. The fee includes skate
admission and skate rental. Transportation will be provided for those
individuals who have signed-up in advance and indicated on their registration
forms that they need to ride the vans. The free shuttle will leave at
6:30pm from the Rec Center. Bring your i-card to the Nelson Recreation
Center Friday night to check-in with the UIS Rec Staff at the door. Enjoy
a night out having fun ice skating!
The Intramural 5x5 Basketball
League continues with league play this Saturday, March 5 with the Stars
playing The Losers at 1:30pm. Following at 2:30pm, NIRSA takes on undefeated
HUGE. The outcomes of Saturday’s games will determine who will play
for the league championship on Sunday at 2:30pm. Come out and cheer the
intramural teams in the last weekend of play for this season!
The Intramural Badminton Women’s
Doubles league declared team V&S as league winners. V&S defeated
EMC (Susan Nguyen and Kymeicko Williams) in the championship match 15-12,
15-5 on Monday night. Congratulations to Vasantha Gudiwada and Srilakshmi
Miryala as IM Champions. Final standings in the women’s league saw
V&S undefeated at 4-0. Second place went to EMC, third place to A&K
(Alisha Backus and Kaley Noel), and fourth place to the Never Befores
(Danielle Crossen and Jessica Lay). Congratulations to all team participants
for playing in the league.
Toning & Conditioning Fitness
Class Session C begins following Spring Break. This session meets Mondays
and Fridays from 12:10-12:50pm in the UIS Gym. This session’s 11
classes run from March 21 through April 29 (no class on Good Friday, March
25). Students and Rec Center Members with a valid i-card pay $9; Non-Rec
Center Members pay $27. Register and pay the appropriate fee in the Campus
Recreational Sports Office in the Fitness Center before class begins on
Informal Open Recreation Hours for the Rec Center (Fitness Center and
Gym) for the upcoming Spring Break will change. Watch for e-mail announcements
and posted signs at the Rec Center for the revised hours. Participants
wishing to use the above facilities must submit a valid i-card upon entering
the Rec Center.
HOW CAN I LEARN ABOUT CAMPUS
REC SPORTS NEWS?
(1) Send an Email to RecSports@uis.edu to be included in the 2004-2005
Campus Rec Sports News List to receive personal up-to-date information
about future events and activities. (2) Click on “Public Folders>All
Public Folders>UIS>Announcements>Campus” on your UIS e-mail
account and read the e-mail announcements sent out by UIS Campus Rec Sports.
(3) Check out the website at www.uis.edu/recsports/. (4) Contact the Campus
Recreational Sports (CRS) Office located in the Fitness Center (SLB 118)
or call 206-6658.
UIS vs. Missouri Baptist (St. Louis, Mo.)
UIS vs. Missouri Baptist (St. Louis, Mo.)
The UIS women closed out the regular season with yet another loss to Missouri
Baptist, this time 78-64. The loss dropped the women’s overall season
record to 7-21 (3-11 in the AMC).
UIS was able to maintain a 35-35 tie at the half but MBU’s tough
defense proved to be too much for the Stars.
AMC Conference Standings
1. Columbia College 13-0
2. McKendree College 12-1
3. Missouri Baptist 7-6
4. Hannibal LaGrange 7-6
5. William Woods 6-7
6. Williams Baptist 4-9
7. UI-Springfield 3-11
8. Harris Stowe 0-13
UIS vs. Trinity (Edwardsville, Ill.)
The UIS women’s softball team opened up their 2005 campaign in a
big way, braving the cold and defeating Trinity 6-2 in the SIUE Tournament.
Leading the way for the Stars were seniores Christie Wantland and Kari
Landes. Wantland went 2-2 on the day, while Landes notched a few RBIs
with a triple.
UIS vs. (McKendree) (Edwardsville,
In a game that was supposed to be played on the previous Saturday but
cancelled because there’s only so many hours in a day, the Stars
dropped in a heartbreaking 7-5 loss to McKendree.
UIS vs. (SIUE) (Edwardsville,
The Stars close out their first tournament with another loss this time
coming at the hands of the Cougars of SIUE in a 9-0 route.
The home opener for the Stars
is scheduled to be March 9th against Olivet Nazarene at 2:00 p.m. but
with the last two scheduled home openers cancelled, don't hold your breath.